House Bill 1252, sponsored by state Rep. Betty Boyd, encourages hospitals to counsel sexual assault survivors about their risk of pregnancy and provide them with timely and accurate information about emergency contraception. Currently, not all hospitals in Colorado inform rape survivors about emergency contraception.
Emergency Contraception (EC) is a highly effective form of birth control that reduces the risk of pregnancy when taken within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse. EC is not a method of abortion and should not be confused with Mifepristone (RU486), a medicine used for medical abortion.
In the United States 25,000 women will become pregnant as a result of sexual assault every year. About 22,000 of these pregnancies could be averted if all women who were assaulted were given and used EC. One in four Colorado women have experienced a completed or attempted sexual assault. Because emergency rooms are often the first point of medical contact for sexual assault survivors, it is imperative that hospitals provide a full range of services to those who seek care.
This bill is about access to information. To deny sexual assault survivors timely and vital information that could prevent a tragic and serious consequence of rape – the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy – is unconscionable.
For more information about emergency contraception, HB 1252 or to join the Planned Parenthood Action Network, please visit us on the Web at http://www.pprm.org.
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